MARONDERA district, one of the country’s HIV hotspots, received close to half a million condoms in three months, thereby allaying fears that the area has been hit by a massive shortage of protection.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Recently, social media platforms were awash with reports that Marondera had run out of condoms, with allegations that some people were using the latex to make floor polish.
The reports alleged that high density medical centres like Nyameni Clinic had run out of condoms.
National Aids Council district Aids co-ordinator Sebastian Manjengwa yesterday said between April and June, of the 1 640 344 million condoms distributed in Mashonaland East province, Marondera district had the biggest distribution of 485 010 (male and female) condoms.
“The rumours that circulated in the social media last week are not true. According to statistics, in the second quarter the condoms are sufficient for the area,” he said.
“We also distributed some for the past two months and we will only have the actual figure after we compile reports for the third quarter, that is around October. If you move around Marondera, you can witness the availability of the condoms.”
Manjengwa added that they also distributed condoms to organisations like Zichire and Face Zimbabwe, among others, hence their availability in the province.
According to NAC, other districts that recorded the highest distribution of male condoms in the province were Goromonzi (211 591) and Mutoko (212 715).
Marondera district tops in HIV prevalence rate (17%) due to its urban set-up and the existence of farming compounds.
According to NAC positivity rate in farming compounds in Mashonaland East had declined drastically.
Speaking during a belated provincial Word Aids Day commemorations held at Tapfuma Primary School in Marondera in March this year, NAC provincial Aids co-ordinator Wilfred Dube said positivity rate in the farming compounds had dropped to 3% as compared to 42% in 2010.
According to NAC, positivity rate was high due to a lot of unprotected sex in farming compounds around Marondera district, caused by marrying and remarrying within the same compound. In 2010, positivity rate was high mainly at Bemba Farm where 39% of the tested farm workers had sexually transmitted infections.